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Victorious Royal Ulster's Minnis & Crew Win Scottish Series Causeway Cup

4th June 2021
The award is for the best performance in the Scottish Series by a boat-based outside Scotland
The award for Final Call is for the best performance in the Scottish Series by a boat-based outside Scotland" title="Open Dutch Championships Credit: Afloat

Afloat Sailor of the Month for May John Minnis from Royal Ulster YC in Bangor on Belfast Lough has added yet another prize to his winnings with his First 31.7 Final Call taking the Causeway Cup for the best performance in the Scottish Series by a boat-based outside Scotland (other than the Series winner).

Final Call, with Gareth Flannigan driving, won Class 3 convincingly, counting two firsts and two seconds. Another Royal Ulster sailor, Flannigan, has credentials that span several classes, including Irish Laser Master's titles and wins with David Fletcher in the RS 400 class. No doubt there are many notable instances in which sailors decide to purchase a boat, but Minnis's decision, with his friend Brian Roche who has since moved on, to buy what was then Clever Clogs, was made during the emotion of the 2015 European Rugby Cup final between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. He says, " We felt this was a good call/decision and so renamed her Final Call. That big occasion in Belfast went the Warrior's way with a 31-13 scoreline in what was the great Paul O'Connell's last game for Munster.

John Minnis of Royal UlsterJohn Minnis of Royal Ulster is the Scottish Series 2021 Causeway Cup winning skipper

John Minnis isn't near finished, though, as he's off to the Beneteau First 31.7 Championships at the National Yacht Club in early July.

Minnis picked up Afloat's Sailor of the Month award for his Scottish Series achievement.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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Scottish Series Background

Although the format of the Scottish Series varies little from year to year, it is interesting to see some of the changes which the event has seen over the years:

  • CYCA handicap class added to IOR (1976)
  • IOR level rating classes to reflect the popular sizes and World Championships being held in the UK
  • Separate one design class for Sonatas (1980 to date)
  • Campbeltown dropped with offshore races direct to Tarbert (1982)
  • Unique light displacement CYCA class - the forerunner of today's sportboats (1982)
  • Computer results system introduced in 1982 and now recognised as the best in the UK
  • Separate one design class for Sigma 33 (1987 to date)
  • Separate one design classes in certain years for Impalas, Sigma 38, Melges 24 and Cork 1720
  • Inner triangle to shorten courses for smaller classes (1986)
  • Points loading for offshore race reduced from 2 to 1.5 to 1
  • First racing in Scotland under Channel Handicap (1988)
  • Second racecourse for smaller classes (1989)
  • Discard introduced
  • Windward leeward races - two per day (1993)
  • Sportboat classes with no overnight races (1994)
  • Marquee on quayside for main social events (1995-2008)
  • Restricted Sail Class (1998)
  • Third racecourse for sportboats with up to three races per day (1998)
  • Day feeder races (2002)
  • Overnight and day feeder races discontinued (2005)
  • Stand-alone Tarbert Inbound and Outbound passage races introduced (2005/6)

With all these changes, some things have stayed the same:

  • Huge support from Ireland every year since 1975
  • A magnificent effort ashore and afloat from the volunteer helpers of the Clyde Cruising Club, Royal Scottish Motor Yacht Club and Tarbert Loch Fyne Yacht Club
  • Results and communications service at the forefront of technology
  • The best competition and the best social scene in the country
  • An overall Series winner, the roll call including many of the top sailors in Scotland and beyond.

Scottish Series 2021

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, the dates for the 2021 edition of Scotland's biggest sailing event at Tarbert is: 28 May–31 May 2021

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